People

2013/2014 Fellows

Ian Anderson

Ian B. Anderson was born in Alberta, raised in Québec, and educated in Ontario. He is committed to dynamic and innovative public service, at home and abroad. He completed a B.A. (Hons.) in political studies at Queen’s University, where he was a Chancellor’s Scholar. He has a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Ottawa, where he served as an assistant to Dr. Peter Jones on Track Two diplomatic dialogues focusing on the Middle East and South Asia. Ian was an international development fellow of the Aga Khan Foundation in Kulob, Tajikistan (2009-2010), and a development officer of the Canadian International Development Agency posted to the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar, Afghanistan (2010-2011). He now works at Global Affairs Canada, focusing on the Middle East.

He has served in elections observation missions with Mission Leadership Québec in Guatemala, and with CANADEM in Ukraine. He is also on the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ civilian expert roster, and works with the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations’ initiative to bridge the Western and Muslim worlds. In 2013 he was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. His Twitter handle is @IanBAnderson.

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Jaimie Boyd

Jaimie Boyd is an economist at the federal department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development where she works on internal trade. She is one of the coordinators of Policy Ignite, a grassroots forum for debating public policy. She is also the founder of Unu Design Workshop, a fair trade clothing company that sustainably generates employment and poverty relief in the Peruvian highlands, and has served as the coordinator of the Youth Network of the Americas, an organization that mobilizes and empowers young leaders.

Jaimie grew up in Victoria, B.C. At 19, she spent a year working with street gangs in Nicaragua. This experience motivated her to acquire skills to leverage private-sector growth for widespread economic development in emerging markets. She also spent a year-and-a-half in Peru running a support centre for businesses that relieve poverty and coordinating a variety of economic development initiatives. She has conducted extensive research on socioeconomic conditions in Latin America and their influence on democratic consolidation. She is passionate about improving governance outcomes, both in Canada and abroad. Jaimie holds an honours BA in political science and economics from McGill University and a master’s degree in political economy from the University of British Columbia. She is a certified PADI Divemaster and enthusiastic violinist.

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Jesika Briones

Jesika Briones is the business development manager for the Advanced Energy Centre at the MaRS Discovery District. She works with energy advisors and experts from academia, industry and government to support the development and adoption of clean energy technologies in local and international markets.

Prior to joining the Advanced Energy Centre, Jesika was the Cleantech industry analyst at MaRS Discovery District, where she provided market intelligence to, and established strategic connections with, over 100 cleantech start-ups across Ontario. In this capacity, she has published several white papers on renewable energy and smart grid matters, and collaborated with various Ontario government agencies on special energy research projects and events. Her additional experience includes working as co-founder and business development director at a spin-off company commercializing a McMaster University-developed solar technology, and her work as a quality control engineer for a Japanese automotive original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) located in Monterrey, Mexico. Jesika holds a bachelor degree in manufacturing engineering, with a specialization in total quality management, and a Master of Engineering in entrepreneurship and innovation. She is currently a member of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers - Research and Innovation Task Force, and the Ontario Smart Grid Working Group. Jesika is also an advocate against climate change and passionate about promoting women leadership and entrepreneurship among her local and national networks. Jesika is fluent in both English and Spanish.

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Megan Campbell

Megan Campbell is a freelance consultant to social initiatives in Canada, helping them create powerful strategies that lead to transformative change. With a Bachelor of Applied Science in systems design engineering from the University of Waterloo and a decade of experience influencing policy and practice in Africa, Asia and Canada, Megan is passionate about changing the way innovation is incentivized and supported in international development.

Megan’s fascination with international affairs was sparked by a year living in Germany as a Rotary high school exchange student. A fortuitous job the following summer with then-nascent Engineers Without Borders confirmed her life’s path. As a student at the University of Waterloo, Megan created ‘Trick-or-Trade,’ a Fair Trade initiative that is still run annually across Canada. Upon graduation, she joined EWB’s Water and Sanitation team in Malawi, first as a staff member and then as co-director. Under Megan’s leadership, the team pioneered news ways of helping policy makers, funders and local government work together on solutions to the fundamental problems surrounding sustainable services in Malawi. Megan now shares her experience creating high-leverage solutions in complex systems as an advisor to the Canadian Fair Trade Network, and Admitting Failure. She is also a Trade School Toronto lecturer.

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Sarah Daitch

A former member of Canada's National Cross Country Ski Team, Sarah was born and raised in Inuit, Dene and Métis communities in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. After immigrating to Canada, her family worked across the North as educators, and call Thebacha/Fort Smith, NWT, home. Sarah holds a BA in international relations, with distinction from the University of Calgary, and a master’s degree in dispute resolution from the University of Victoria, earning a SSHRC graduate research scholarship.

As a certified Civil Dispute Mediator, Sarah is passionate about working with both communities in the North and internationally to solve problems collaboratively, supporting peace building, sustainable development, human rights and good governance. She has mediated in British Columbia provincial court, and for Canadian sport organizations. In 2012-2013, Sarah collaborated with the territorial education departments in the NWT and Nunavut, leading a study to assess how new high school education on the difficult history of residential schools and assimilation policies in Canada influences critical thinking and civic engagement amongst youth. Previously, Sarah has worked in non-profit, municipal, territorial and federal government departments. During her ski career, Sarah represented Canada in ten countries, including at Nordic World Championships (2007). She was an ambassador for “Fast and Female”, a non-profit supporting empowerment and leadership development for girls, founding their Northern Youth Empowerment program. She is often seen in her community mentoring young and aspiring athletes, sharing her dedication, spirit and love of sport. In 2013, Sarah was one of four Fort Smith community members presented with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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André Dias

André Dias is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. His thesis explores how genetic variation in putative taste-receptor genes modify taste function and food intake. Outside of school, André’s primary interests include management consulting, teaching and strategies to improve healthcare delivery.

André is a co-founder and managing partner at the Graduate Consulting Group, a Toronto-based consultancy that provides research services to a number of firms in the city. His work is primarily in healthcare and public sector spaces. Last summer André completed an internship at the Boston Consulting Group and will be returning there upon completion of his PhD. Working with four other students, André created and delivered a one-week diabetes education camp at Sandy Lake First Nation, a fly-in reserve in northern Ontario. This experience and others have galvanized his interest in teaching, especially within “at-risk” populations. Currently he is a mentor with Pathways For Education, a Toronto non-profit. André is very interested in healthcare and how it can adopt lessons from other sectors to improve the efficiency of care delivery. He has worked as an external consultant with KPMG and SECOR Conseil to help inform primary healthcare delivery and compensation strategies for two provinces in Canada. André is an avid skier, enjoys English literature, and is an amateur vocalist and saxophone player.

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Julia Fan Li

Julia Fan Li is currently a director at the Global Health Investment Fund – an innovative financing vehicle aimed at funding research and development of global health interventions including drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for diseases that disproportionately burden low-income countries. Julia holds a PhD in technology management from the University of Cambridge where, as a Gates Scholar, she completed research on building incentives for healthcare innovation for bottom-of-pyramid markets.

Julia’s research examined financing alternatives for creating sustainable business models in the life-sciences sector that could increase affordability and access. Julia is also co-founder and trustee of the African Innovation Prize, a social enterprise that encourages university entrepreneurship through business-plan competitions in Rwanda and Sierra Leone. She serves as a policy advisor to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health.Julia completed her undergraduate education with a dual concentration in finance and immunology from the University of British Columbia. She started her career with KPMG LLP as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in the Canadian biotechnology practice. Julia has worked at the intersection of business and science on four continents and recognizes both the challenges and opportunities in global health. Outside of work, Julia has enjoyed volunteering for the past three Olympiads in Canada House in Beijing 2008, Press Operations in Vancouver 2010 and IOC Anti-Doping in London 2012.

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Lara Honrado

Lara Honrado is the principal of Georgetown Strategy Consulting, a public affairs firm based in Vancouver. She is passionate about activating 'visible minority' women in leadership and engaging under-represented communities in the political process. She served as Director of Community Relations for Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson from 2009 to April 2015. Lara began her career in Washington, DC as a reporter covering Capitol Hill for a national newswire service. She went on to work with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus as media director of the first global summit on microfinance. Since then she has served in senior communications and government relations roles in the corporate sector and previous to her work in the Mayor’s Office, was co-founder of a multicultural cultural communications and stakeholder engagement firm.

She has served on a number of nonprofit boards focused on intercultural / intergenerational social change and social entrepreneurship. Educated in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, Lara is a graduate of the University of California Irvine. She is an Action Canada Fellow ('13) and currently resides in Vancouver, BC with her two daughters.

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Brian Kingston

Brian Kingston is a Senior Associate with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the leading voice of Canada’s business community representing CEO’s in all sectors and regions of the country. Brian is responsible for providing advice and analysis on economic policy including international trade, fiscal and monetary policy issues. Prior to this role, as a participant in the federal government's Accelerated Economist Training Program, Brian gained an in-depth understanding of the federal policy-making process through assignments at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, , the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Privy Council Office, the Department of Finance and Global Affairs Canada

Brian is active in the non-profit sector as the Vice President of Young Canadians in Finance, as a classroom volunteer with Junior Achievement and as a board member of the Ottawa Economics Association. He is an Action Canada Fellow, World Economic Forum Global Shaper and alumnus of the 2015 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. Brian holds a master’s degree in international affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Carleton University. In his free time, Brian is an avid runner and cyclist.

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Alexandra Laflamme-Sanders

Originally from Montréal, Alexandra Laflamme-Sanders is the Director of Business Strategy for Sun Life Financial in Quebec. Her professional and academic journey began at the University of Waterloo where she completed a Bachelor of Mathematics in scientific computation and applied mathematics and a Master’s of Mathematics in statistics and computing, studying rare-target detection algorithms. Always looking for new opportunities, Alexandra left mathematics for finance and joined the Sun Life Financial team.

In her six years with the company, she has undertaken a variety of roles, ranging from business and investment analysis to strategy development. In her current role, she is responsible for providing business support and consulting services to enable the successful deployment of the business strategy in Quebec. In her spare time, Alexandra relishes any opportunity to discover new countries and cultures. She has visited more than 30 countries in the last 10 years, bringing new insights to her work and at home. A strong believer in balance and well-being, she promotes an active lifestyle by teaching group fitness classes at Énergie Cardio.

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Alika Lafontaine

Alika Lafontaine is a 30-year-old Aboriginal physician of mixed heritage, born and raised in Southern Saskatchewan/Treaty 4 territory. After Alika was labeled learning-disabled as a child, his parents made the decision to homeschool him and began the pattern of hard work and deliberate mentorship that defines him today. At age 16, Alika became one of the youngest Aboriginal recipients of a prestigious undergraduate NSERC research grant and remains the youngest recipient of the Indspire Award, the highest honour Canada’s Indigenous Peoples give their own.

After completing his Bachelors of Science in chemistry, he completed his MD at the University of Saskatchewan followed by a five-year fellowship in anesthesiology. In the midst of his fellowship Alika became CBC’s “Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister,” winning the national competition with a platform focused on reconciling the Treaty relationship between Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and Canadians. Alika currently practices as an anesthesiologist in Northern Alberta, serves as vice-president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada and is an elected member of the representative forum of the Alberta Medical Association. He is also a founding partner of Pure Enviro Management Canada, a national bioremediation company that decontaminates petroleum and chlorinated solvent waste.

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Martin Lajoie

Originally from Cowansville, Quebec, Martin Lajoie currently lives in Ottawa and works as a Special Advisor at the Privy Council Office. Prior to this position at the heart of the federal public service, Martin worked at the Department of Finance Canada, where he was the Assistant Departmental Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Minister.

He has also worked in media relations, coordinated pre-budget consultations for the Minister of Finance and managed various large-scale projects within the department. Martin started his career in Ottawa with the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA). At CUTA, he worked in Public Affairs and Parliamentarian Relations, coordinated national marketing transit campaigns and organized a national Youth Summit on Sustainable Transportation, an event for which Martin’s entrepreneurial qualities were recognized in Vienna, Austria, when he received an international award for Best Young Manager from Union International des Transports Public (UITP). Martin holds a master’s in political science with a specialization in international relations and comparative politics from the University of Ottawa and a B.A. in communications and political science from the Université de Montréal. Through an international student exchange program, Martin also studied abroad for one year at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City, Mexico.

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Paul Lang

Originally from Grand Falls, New Brunswick and now living in Shediac New Brunswick, Paul completed his bachelor degree in social science from the University of Moncton, majoring in political science and minoring in economics. He then completed a master’s in regional development at the University of Quebec in Rimouski. Just recently, he completed an advanced certificate in local authority administration with Dalhousie University. As a lover of municipal governance issues, Lang focused his master’s degree on local government reform in New Brunswick. Since 2007 he has held various positions in the municipal sector, that include chief administrative officer of the Village of Rogersville, as director of economic development and tourism for the town of Shediac and now executive director of the Kent Regional Service Commission. While in this role, he also occupied the position of CAO for the newly formed Rural Community of Cocagne. Ever an intellectual, he is currently enrolled in two university programs, one on local development with the University of Sherbrooke and the other in management at l’Université de Moncton.

Very involved in his community, he has served on many boards and committees, and is always looking to improve the lives of the people in his region. He was named one of the top 15 young Acadians who will influence change in New Brunswick, and is a 2012-2013 alumnus of the New Brunswick 21 Inc. program. Paul is married to Danielle Doucet and there are proud parents of Thomas.

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Leslie Lewis

Leslie Lewis is a senior analyst at Teachers’ Private Capital, the private equity investments arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which manages a portfolio of approximately $12.2 billion. Leslie is a member of the Teachers’ Consumer, Retail and Industrials team and was closely involved in Teachers’ recent acquisitions of Plano Molding Company and Dematic. Prior to Teachers, Leslie worked in investment banking in CIBC’s Mergers & Acquisitions group.

At CIBC, Leslie worked on some of Canada’s largest corporate takeovers and announced over $10 billion in transactions. Leslie graduated from Acadia University with an Honours degree in business administration. In her graduating year, she was voted Student of the Year by Acadia’s alumni and was the recipient of a prestigious Frank H. Sobey Award for Excellence in Business Studies. A former National Team athlete in kayaking, Leslie is a 13-time Canadian champion and a four-time Pan-American champion. Leslie’s career highlights also include six gold medals representing Canada on the European tour in Germany and Poland and a 6th place finish at the Junior World Championships in Hungary. Despite spending the entirety of her professional career in Toronto, Leslie is a Maritimer at heart and proudly maintains her Nova Scotia accent.

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Mélanie Loisel

Human rights, sustainable development and peace building—these are favorite subjects for Mélanie Loisel. Over the past 10 years, her journalism profession has allowed her to travel across Canada and around the world to produce reports on the human condition. She holds an MA in international politics and a BA in journalism. Melanie maintains that behind every policy, every statistic, and every figure, there are human beings who make decisions that affect others.

She believes that it is possible to influence decision-makers and find solutions to resolve problems in our society. For her, everything is a question of will. In Canada especially, Melanie believes that it is possible to make a difference in the world while the country is rich in human and natural resources.

Born in Fermont in Northern Quebec, she follows mining and boreal forest exploitation. She hopes that the Nordic Development will be done in collaboration with local communities and based on collective welfare.

Read more about Mélanie in Spotlight on Fellows.

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Kathryn Muller

Kathryn’s passion for history and her belief in story-telling to inspire change are driving forces behind her professional and personal endeavours. While pursuing a doctorate in Aboriginal History, Kathryn spent almost a decade collaborating with Indigenous communities and exploring the collections of numerous North American museums and archives, experiencing first-hand the power of stories in encouraging profound conversations about who we are as a people and what we want to achieve. Now Executive Director of the McCord Museum Foundation in Montreal, Kathryn uses public history to tell stories that inspire philanthropy and ultimately make our community a better place.

As a member of the Young Directors of the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organisations and the artsScène (Business for the Arts) Executive Committee, among other organisations, Kathryn encourages young professionals to develop experience in good governance while supporting the arts. A bilingual Montrealer, living and working every day between two languages, Kathryn has always sought to build bridges between communities, be it by encouraging conversations between indigenous and non-indigenous academics and community practitioners or by using philanthropy as a way to bring people together. In her spare time, she enjoys dragon boating, skiing, baking desserts, and renovating her hundred-year-old Montreal condo!

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Alyssa Schwann

Alyssa Schwann’s professional experience includes practice as an environmental designer in Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands, with projects in North America, Europe and North and South Africa. She spent several years working as an urban designer and landscape architect at West 8, an internationally renowned landscape architecture and urban design office in the Netherlands.

Her projects focused on parks, gardens and public spaces, including high-profile, award-winning urban-design projects for Toronto’s Central Waterfront and Governors Island, NY. Prior to West 8, Alyssa worked for Chris Blandford Associates in London, UK on large-scale urban design and infrastructure projects, as well as historically protected and listed parks and gardens. In 2011, she founded Atelier Anonymous, a collective of internationally established and award-winning designers, educators and researchers in the fields of landscape architecture, landscape conservation, urban design, coastal ecosystems, and environmental design. She was recently appointed as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Architecture’s Environmental Design program at the University of Manitoba and will be a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in the summer of 2013.

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